Author Archives: reubenwoolley

Clever Girl “Verbs that Move Mountains”, edited by Claire Trévien, reviewed by Jessica Mookherjee

I am not a silent poet

verbs that move mountains 2Clever Girl: A Review of Verbs That Move Mountains: Essays and Interviews on Spoken word cultures around the world. Edited by Claire Trevien.


Jessica Mookherjee; Poet, “Swell” (2016, Telltale Press), “JoyRide” (2017 Black Light Engine Room Press) “Flood” (2018 Cultured Llama). Highly Commended for Best Single Poem Forward Prize 2017.

Poetry and Art

I first heard of Claire Trevien on radio four, driving home from work. She was reading from her 2014 collection “The Shipwrecked House” and I recall a little bit of my life changing. The haunting quality of the way she connected with me reminded me of what I had wanted to do as a young performance poet in my 20’s, fresh out of media school. I wanted to bring multi media poetic beauty to performance and make poetry as popular as rock music. Well, I didn’t – I was too scared, and what I…

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To those who say, Now he is free, by Oonah V Joslin

I am not a silent poet

(For Stephen Hawking)
crippled by fear
tied to grief
stuck in rut
angry at the world
needy for fame but indolent
rich enough but not content
hungry for power
insatiable in appetite
preoccupied by trivialities
wrapped in self and selfies
can never be free.
There was no pity about his life.
He lived inside his mind.
He was never bound.

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Poetry Waking, by David Chorlton

I am not a silent poet

Its early: four o’clock. Too dark
for logic. The alphabet is scattered
across the floor
and the day’s arguments
have yet to begin, but the mind
is already sorting what matters
from what does not.
……………………………Loose ends
are connecting. A train
arrives from a long ago year;
a bird seen far from its range
becomes a portent of extinction;
Russia has returned to its iron
roots; all the teacups
in the kitchen fill
…………………………..with storms
and every toy gun
kills in dreams. Soon, the televisions
will wake up and start to shout
but this is poetry’s time
to purr in a world of lions.


David Chorlton was born in Austria, grew up in Manchester, England, and lived for several years in Vienna before moving to Phoenix in 1978. Arizona’s landscapes and wildlife have become increasingly important to him and a significant part of his poetry. Meanwhile, he retains…

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On being a poetry fake.

Robert Garnham

I am a poetry fake.

Sure, they call me a poet. Oh, him, he’s a poet. He’s Robert Garnham, the poet. But whenever they use the word ‘poet’, they always put those little things around it. You know the ones. “”

Of all the wonderful and amazing things that a poet can do with literature and language to make them sing and dance on the page, I cannot do any of them.

My sonnets are too long.
My haiku have too many syllables.
Any internal rhyme scheme is purely accidental.
I’ve never worried, overtly, about enjambement.

I once wrote an ode to a rhododendron and a nun threw up.

I am a poetry fake.

My poetry is so bad that even the rhyming couplets have split up.

My poetry is so bad that nobody has stuck around long enough to tell me what the rhyme scheme is.

My poetry is…

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Them, by Cath Campbell

I am not a silent poet

There is a man on line
who says they are a hardy people.

They are nomads, used to deserts.
They know how to survive,
that not everywhere is scarred by war.
He has been there, and he knows.

Everyone lives near the mountains,
can magic water from the sands.
Everyone can ride a camel, or a horse.
They are a hardy people, and they will learn.

Tell that to the kid standing wide eyed,
watching the murder missiles fall,
straight as heart seeking arrows,
shining, like nothing he’s ever seen before.

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LaToya Marries An Impoverished Marxist, by Clara B. Jones

I am not a silent poet

for Robert Wayne Williams

He tried to honor Gramsci’s prison notebooks.
But, ‘Toya required means. A comrade fighting
worldwide oppression married to a princess.
Thesbian Ché chortling for cameras, never
exposing flaws, never so beautiful as in
death, revealing tiny pimples—an otherwise
unworldly face. “Revolution” a meme, violent

insurrection modeled by Lenin, the oppressed
led by a nobleman defrocked, clothed by
tsunamis of Red Tides and by a red flag rough
as workers’ palms, labeled “amoral” by well-fed
republicans, stable hierarchies prevailing,
formed by guilds and nation-states avowing
private ownership. A husband whose theories might

have earned praise, competing with Jackson’s Lenin
Prize, but privileging private domains over service,
showing ingratitude to his Frankfurt School.
Habermas lies disappointed but in wait. It is neither
confirmed nor denied that the husband was once a
belligerent entity, acting on Marx’s behalf, armed
with munitions of scholarship, writing documents as

deputed as manifestos…

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Burdened, by Roberta Monokroussos

I am not a silent poet

when your conscience is laden with guilt
as most of our consciences must be
do we get active politically
do we revise our budgets wisely
do we look at the people and say, “hello
how are you today”? before we go
before we go on our merry way–
off to our errands–not thinking how
we can make amends
do we do this everyday as we take note
of all those who die by famine and draught
of all those who died by genocide
and all the blood needlessly spilt
o our consciences are burdened–no doubt
by skeletons not yet dead and children’s eyes
seeming to pop out of their head
pity all our consciences so burdened with guilt

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